Quite a bit has happened in the three months since my last post. I once again have found myself an income to eat (thank heavens). The Bachelor Season Two has kicked off (heaven help us). Donald Trump’s ascendency to the Republican nomination has continued and shows no signs of slowing (I don’t think even heaven can help us with that one). And, on a more positive note note, a new eatery has opened in the previously underserviced suburb of Hillsborough.
The picturesque Pah Homestead, in Monte Cecilia Park, has since 2010 housed the TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre. I’ve stopped in on a number of occasions as a time-killer en route to the airport, and had it picked as a dream wedding venue (as one does). The repurposing of what was a passable gallery café into a more substantial all-day eatery is a welcome development.
When we visited on a sunny Saturday morning, the place was bustling, but happily we managed a table with a view on the veranda. Our 10am arrival placed us firmly in the brunch section of the menu. Served from 8am, the options are somewhat brief; there are seven in all: granola, three crumpet variants (both sweet and savoury), two egg-based dishes, and an edamame-bean-on-toast creation. My granola, served with coconut yoghurt and blueberries, is just how I like it: crunchy,cinnamonny, nutty, coconutty, delicious. My dining buddy’s choice of Sami’s Eggs goes down a treat, a concoction of poached eggs, bulghur wheat, hummus, cucumber, tomato and mint.
The lunch menu (served from 11:30am) is more comprehensive, and a far cry from standard café fare. There are bruschetta options (think salt cod and parsley, or silverbeet and prosciutto), salads (no chicken caesar in sight), and smaller and larger offerings (the lamb scottadito with white bean, cauliflower and rosemary purée and artichoke pesto catches my eye/salivary glands), as well as side dishes such as kumara sourdough with good butter and nectarine chutney.
Inside, the cabinet food bears the inimitable stamp of Sam Mannering, who (along with Charles Williams and Connor Nestor, of Ceremony fame) is responsible for Homestead’s birth. I recognise the Sicilian Apple Cake from his Dunsandel Store cookbook.
With a venue and now caterer in mind, my imaginary wedding plans are well-advanced. Just a few other key details to work on.
$41 for granola, Sami’s eggs, an Americano, and a long macchiato
Open 8am to 3pm Tuesday to Friday and 8am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday (no weekend bookings; kitchen closes at 2:30pm)
The Pah Homestead, TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre, 72 Hillsborough Road, Hillsborough